22 Pages Posted: 6 May 2009 Last revised: 7 Feb 2012
Date Written: April 2, 2009
In contrast with the common assumption in the plea bargaining literature, we show fairness-related concerns systematically impact defendants' preferences and judgments. In the domain of preference, innocents are less willing to accept plea offers (WTAP) than guilty defendants and all defendants reject otherwise attractive offers that appear comparatively unfair. We also show that defendants who are uncertain of their culpability exhibit egocentrically biased judgments and reject plea offers as if they were innocent. The article concludes by briefly discussing the normative implications of these findings.
Keywords: Fairness, Decision Making, Judgment, Experimental, Behavioral, self-serving bias, risk, prospect theory, law, criminal procedure, plea bargaining
JEL Classification: D89, D99, K14, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Tor, Avishalom and Gazal-Ayal, Oren and Garcia, Stephen M., Fairness and the Willingness to Accept Plea Bargain Offers (April 2, 2009). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 97-116, March 2010; CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1398128
By Scott Howe